26 September 2015
The age verification system Ageviewers is removed temporarily from the Dutch market. HEM, the company behind Ageviewers, is compelled to do so because of arrangements in the supermarket sector to boycott the implementation of the system. HEM has already instituted legal proceedings on antitrust grounds against two organizations involved in these arrangements.
Ageviewers was developed in 2007. The system, which works well and proved to be effective, is implemented at dozens of stores, mainly liquor shops. In those stores the statutory age control of youngsters who want to buy alcohol or tobacco is not performed by the vendors or cashiers themselves, but remotely via a webcam by a trained team of Ageviewers.
The age verification activities of HEM will be discontinued as of September 30, 2015. All employees are requested dismissal.
Wim van Dalen, director of the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP, is very disappointed. "It is bizarre that the application of the most effective age verification system is blocked by the supermarkets. I call on State Secretary of Health Martin van Rijn to talk with the sector to undo this boycott."